Climate Retrospective: Elizabeth D’Amico

Climate Retrospective: Elizabeth D’Amico

Every day should be Earth Day!

Climate Retrospective: Elizabeth D’Amico

June 4-July 19, 2024

Featured artist in The Bank Street Gallery at AVA

Artist Statement for Climate Retrospective:

I clearly remember walking down the middle of NYC’s Fifth Avenue on a bright sunny morning carrying a daisy that had been handed to me for the first-ever Earth Day parade. It was 1970 and I realized at that time that I have been focused on the global health of our Paradise planet since my childhood. I grew up on a dairy farm and spent most of my childhood roaming the fields, taking care of animals, noticing all that is green and grows. My predominant thought then and now was every day should be Earth Day! That experience has stayed with me as I continue to garden well beyond my most productive vegetable gardening years dealing with global warming, climate change, and now the climate crisis.

Throughout my life, I have always been concerned about environmental issues. I’m sure some of this concern was a result of my reading Rachel Carson’s “Silent Spring” or Bill McKibben’s early environmental books, but it was also an innate feeling. This concern was true in all my small personal and educational efforts to conserve natural resources. And this message has been and continues to be a part of the art I create.

Vanishing waters, droughts, wildfires, endangered species, overpopulation, rising oceans, carbon footprints, oil spills, depletion of diversity, this year’s Earth Day focus on reducing the use of plastics and so much more – there are references to these topics in each of the works shown here.

All of the work is from the 1990s to the present and is a small sampling of what is available. It was difficult to select and pair specific pieces that would work well together for this exhibit. There are rarely any two “standard” sizes or framing choices since much of my work begins with upcycled, recycled, or reclaimed materials. I enjoy the creative challenge it takes to begin with almost nothing and create something that will deliver a message to its viewers.

I am writing this on Earth Day 2024. On that first Earth Day suggested by Wisconsin Senator Gaylord Nelson, I was a graduate student who happened to step into his plan of selecting April 22, 1970, as the first Earth Day because it fell in the middle of the week between spring break and final exams on many campuses. It was meant to attract students and so it did. How many of my generation have followed this pursuit of caring for the environment? Certainly not all, but there are those of us who still believe all our efforts to work with our Paradise planet are paramount.

Note: To support AVA Gallery and Art Center in its continued “green” efforts, some of the works included in this exhibit are offered as a donation with all proceeds from the sale of those works going directly to AVA. Thank you in advance for your support.

Elizabeth D’Amico
April 22, 2024

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